Rock-a-Bye, Baby

From the time I was pregnant with Addison & Mackenzie, I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about sleep habits.  Schedule and routine were the key words of our first few months with the girls, and creating a healthy and manageable sleep routine was a priority from the very beginning.

I knew for certain that I wanted to teach the girls to go to sleep on their own.  I would have to manage the bedtime routine by myself several nights a week, and I could not imagine trying to rock both girls to sleep every night and get them both in bed without waking either baby.  So it was very important to me to make sure they could go to bed awake and fall asleep without me holding, rocking, or otherwise assisting in the process.

Not that it was due to anything we did necessarily (because I realize some kids are just naturally better sleepers than others!), but we have been VERY lucky in the sleep department, so I can at least pretend that some of that worrying, planning, and stressing about sleep paid off, right?

For almost as long as I can remember, our routine has been the same:  dinner, bath, pajamas, then snuggling on the couch while reading books and/or watching part of a movie or tv show.  At bedtime, I carry both girls (and only me...Jeremy is not allowed to do it if I'm home!) to their beds, usually singing a song along the way.  I find all necessary blankets and stuffed animals, then turn out the lights and wish them both sweet dreams.

As the girls have grown, I have learned to savor the quiet moments of sitting down to read, sing, or just be together at night.  Still, rocking has never been a part of that routine...

Until the last few weeks, that is.

I don't even remember now how it started, but sometime in the last month or so, Addison & Mackenzie started requesting that I rock them before bed.  I enjoyed the quiet peacefulness of it for a couple of nights...then I started wondering what kind of new habits I might be encouraging.  The next night, I tried to convince the girls to forget about the rocking, but naturally, they were having none of it.  There were tears and pleas of "Rock me, mama!" that nearly broke my heart.

So, here we are, with a new nighttime routine.  We follow the same general pattern, but the reading and singing is now done in the girls' room, with the three of us snuggled up in the rocking chair.  I'm still working on the timing, since it takes a little longer to convince them to get in bed these days, but we will all adjust soon, I'm sure.

Back when the girls were tiny, it was hard to take full advantage of all the little baby-snuggling opportunities-- I was often too overwhelmed thinking about the next round of feeding and changing, or I was worried about creating bad habits by letting a baby sleep in my arms for too long.  In hindsight, I realize how fleeting those days were, and that makes it even sweeter to be able to enjoy these new opportunities to rock my girls before bed.

I must admit I am kind of enjoying this little change in the normal routine...at least on the nights when we are able to wrap it all up before the unheard-of hour of 9:00.  What happened to my girls that could barely hold their eyes open past 8:00??

Has your nighttime routine changed as your children have grown?  And I'm curious...what time is bedtime for your kids?


  1. They're more manipulative.

    Love the visual of you rocking them...you definitely need to get a picture of that.

  2. How sweet! I certainly wouldn't mind a little extra bedtime cuddling, but no, our routine hasn't changed a bit! Bath, 5 min of tv, and run to bed! (The run thing was their idea!) They can certainly handle staying up until 11pm if we're out and about, but if we're at home, they're in bed at 7:15 or 7:30!

  3. Our twins start talking as soon as I tuck them in. What we do tomorrow? Can I wear pretty dresses? I'm thirsty! Basically, I am just trying to get out the door as quick as possible before we have entire conversations about tomorrow.

    Bedtime at our house is 8pm. They probably aren't exhausted at 8, but because they have their own rooms they have quiet time to themselves before drifting off.

  4. LOL for the last 10 months or so Ava is in bed with us. NOT a good thing but I have just let it go on because it broke my heart to hear her cry. Bad on my part.

  5. uhm....so...i'm a total freak about bedtime. :) back in the day our kids would literally go to bed at 5:30 and sleep till 6 the next morning. people thought we were crazy. it has slowly gotten later and later. now, the kids go to bed at 7pm. we head upstairs at 6:30, do bath if it is a bathnight (every other for us, unless people got crazy during the day), then we put on PJs, sleep sacks (still), brush teeth, then read 3 stories. b's teaching some evenings, so i had to learn some new tricks this semester while doing bedtime: we take turns who gets to turn on the waves (white noise) and who gets to turn off the light. i will rock them for like 10 seconds, hug, and kiss, then they go into their cribs. it's really sweet. even when the day has been rough, bedtime is usually really nice :)

  6. Bedtime has certainly gotten a little crazier for us as the twins have grown older but our routine is baths for all 3, jammies and medicines (because at least one is always needing some medicine for some reason in our house) then we read a story and they lay down to bed. Jack went through a phase a few months ago of the "I want to rock just a minute"- he suckered me, I'll admit it. But I won't have those moments forever so I try to appreciate them and go with it. They all play/ talk to each other until they drift off to sleep. We start baths right after dinner so we usually have everyone in bed around 7. Including Luke since he doesn't nap any longer. But I will also say that BIG changes are in store for the piglets just after the New Year- new room arrangements, new beds- so things will be crazier for us soon!


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